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October 05, 2004

The Temporary Travel Office


non-rational connections

The Temporary Travel Office produces a variety of services relating to tourism and technology aimed at exploring the non-rational connections existing between public and private spaces.

How is corporate biotechnology shaping the spaces we live in? The Travel Office's tour of the Chicago Technology Park is a guided audio experience that places the city's current investment in the "new economy" within the historical, and ongoing, practices of social engineering through urban planning. A story of spatial eugenics emerges out of the juxtaposition of texts and statements from disparate sources that include Official state and city press releases, corporate documents and activist archives. Neither the Travel Office nor this tour represent the Chicago Technology Park, the Illinois Medical District Commission, or any affiliated government or private entities. [left: A Travel Office representative conducting a walking tour of the CTP] [sampled audio of Chicago Transit system from www.chicago-L.org]

Posted by jo at October 5, 2004 02:59 PM


Date: 10.07.04
From: bensyverson
Subject: Tour of the Chicago Technology
Park by ryan griffis

I love critical filters, so this work is right up my alley. Like a P2P
MP3 armChair filmCritic DVD commentaryTrack, the Tour of the Chicago
Technology Park exists as an unsanctioned separate-but-equal layer of
information over the mundane. The information itself is rich but never
didactic, illustrating the widely varied hystorical threads that are
converging in the Chicago biotech industry, and looking forward to the
results of that convergence. As a multiMedia project, it's available
online as text, maps and audio, and was performed as a guided tour
during version04 in Chicago.

I haven't taken the audio to the actual site, but the fact that this
project exists as an audioTour at all is rather tongue-in-cheek, so
maybe the "full" experience is not required. The audio is peppered with
resampled CTA sounds, and the text of the audio comes from various
sources, but the voice-over itself is inhumanly straightforward (it's
voiceSynthesis software). The synthesized voices are a little grating
at times -- almost trance-like -- but luckily, the [gender/style] of
the "speaker" is changed every couple of minutes.

The Tour of the CTP presents an interesting alternative to the endless
volley of text in activist emails and websites, and in the process
finds a nice way to [access/understand/approach] the community it
examines. It instantly made me consider possibilities for expansion;
for example, imagine a "channel" or application for a nearFuture
iPod/cellphone that assesses your position via GPS and provides running
commentary for your location, perhaps with suggestions of other places
of interest. One could walk around the city, soaking in physically
situated information. Imagine guided activistDayTrips, or live
boycottSubscriptions that direct you to alternative establishments...

- ben

Posted by: Jo at October 14, 2004 07:13 PM